Saturday, February 19, 2011

You’d think I’d be used to this by now.

For some, the harbingers for Spring are those that abound in nature.  Robins, grass, and early sunrise are all signs of the much longed-for break in the monotony of grey, lifeless weather and cold that rips through even the stoutest of wool-knit hats. For others, it is the ritual pulling out of the new, fairer weather wardrobe.  But for some, and especially for me, nothing signals the end of winter dreariness like the start of protest season. Granted, for some there is no such thing as “protest season” and will stand with their signs and placards in the most dastardly of Hoosier weather.  I am not one such sister.

This Tuesday started innocently enough, until I was informed of a protest outside of Mike Pence's office (a man who is currently in the front- running for my personal “Biggest Douche of the Universe” contest )to support Planned Parenthood and the weather seemed permissible, so I broke two of my personal rules and skipped my study session and hopped on public transportation. I appreciate the public bus as a concept and when I need it I’m glad it’s there, but it always pushes my own personal squick button.  I’m a germaphobe to the nth degree and am constantly haunted by fears that the person who last touched the pole had a new, deadlier form of the Hantavirus that only targeted fat Irish women.  So, with my Purell in hand, I made it to downtown Muncie.

I met a crowd of my sisters and brothers, all in pink with sturdy cardboard signs and rosy, chill-nipped faces.  We stood on the sides of the road in front of Pence’s office and chanted, whooped, and made a general wild rumpus.  We got quite a few honks, nods, thumbs up, and generally good juju sent our way.
Of course, no protest could occur without a truckload of dipshits waiting to pour their gasoline of hatred onto our fire.  I had been to this type of event before and was mentally prepared for their bile.  As expected, I was called a “cunt”, “dyke” and “baby-killer”, but the one that was really hurtful was when one guy gave me the finger and called me fat.

First of all, this is poor rhetoric.  How does this contribute anything to the argument?  How does this open the floor to debate and help clarify a position?  I truly don’t care if an adult has a different opinion that me (well, I care, but not that much) and I am smart enough to handle arguing with people.  Hell, I welcome it.  I’ve managed to successfully talk a few rabid pro-lifers down to a dull roar because they were open to debate.
The worst part of it all? I get the feeling that this man chose to call me fat because he knew that it was the quickest way to cut through me.  He looked at me, noticed my size, made an inference based on our societal dictations that I would be self-conscious about my weight, and tossed it at me like a paint ball full of jackassery.  Next time, I’ll be mentally prepared for this outcome as well, but I shouldn’t have to be.  I expect more.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Letter to my Representative

One of the things that is hardest for new feminists to learn is that much of being active is giving your voice and writing your representatives.  It's not as sexy as, say, marching down the streets taking back the night, but it is important.

There is a new proposed bill that is severely anti-choice, sexist, and classist.  I speak about the "Stupack on Steroids" bill.  It contains lots of hateful, misogynistic sentiments but the one I found to be the most heart breaking is that it seeks to redefine rape.The bill stipulates that low-income women who seek financial aid cannot receive an abortion unless there is incest involved or they were "forcibly raped".

Who gets to decide what constitutes "forcibly"?  Privileged older white men who have never been roofied up.  Men who have never been on the scary side of 14 and had a person use their authority to make them do things they knew were wrong but couldn't say no.

And worse yet, this sets a precedent that only victims need abortions.  What about girls who had boyfriends who swore that they'd pull out? What about a woman who looks at her 5 children and knows in her heart that she can't feed another mouth, not on the welfare we provide them?

The cruelest irony is that only women suffer.  We deny them support for children they do have and call them murderers when they take fate into their own hands.

So now is a chance for true activism.  Speak now, sisters.  Please, write your representative.  I wrote mine.  I'll share it with you now.

Dear Congressman Carson,
 My grandmother was a supporter of your grandmother and has nothing but kind words to say about you.  My grandmother speaks often of her fondness for your grandmother's passion and understanding of the common people.  As a wise and open-hearted individual, I hope your grandmother's lessons have taken root inside of you, because a threat exists now that haunts our sisters, mothers, daughters, nieces, and our grandmothers.

I speak about HR 358.  The "Stupak on Steroids" bill would limit  availability of abortions to women on federal support only to cases of "forcible rape," a definition that does not currently exist in federal law. What, sir, is a forcible rape?  Are we going to allow our government to tell a woman that her rape just doesn't count?  Are we going to send a message that choice is only for the wealthy and the privileged? Is the message here that a woman who needs financial help has signed over her right to make personal medical decisions?  I disagree wholeheartedly, and I hope you do too.

Congressman Carson, please do the right thing and vote no on 358.  Thank you.Yours most sincerely~

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What this blog is about.

Welcome to my blog.  You may be wondering what this blog is about.  Basically, this blog is about me.  Let me be perfectly clear about that.  This blog is about me, my opinions, my feelings, my life. In this blog I will talk about things like feminism, knitting, food, politics, religion, pop culture, and other stuff in which you may or may not agree with my opinion.  If you do not agree with my opinion, please feel free to A: write your own blog, or B: kindly go fuck yourself.  Ops, there’s another thing.  I will swear on this blog.  I do have a bit of a potty mouth and will talk like an adult here.  If that bothers you, please take a gander at the upper-left hand corner of your screen.  You should see a back button.  Feel free to use it.  If you are a minor, firstly, do your parents know you’re at this naughty, swear-filled, liberal-type person’s blog?  This is not a children-safe place in general, but I will not censor myself.  It’s your Goddamn job as parents to make sure your kids aren’t looking at websites you don’t like. 

What this blog won’t be:
1.  Feminism 101: If you are a baby feminist, welcome to our wonderful sisterhood.  I’m sure you’ll like it.  But please understand that I have been a feminist for several years (Lawd but I am old!) and do not want to take the time to explain what a patriarchy is, what objectification is, what rape culture is, etc.  I will help a sister out and provide links on the side to a few feminism 101 type sites, but this ain’t one of ‘em.

2.  Fair:  Confession time.  I am biased as all fuck.  I think knitting is the superior craft.  I don’t think misogynistic humor is funny.  Pop-Tarts will continue to be the superior food group.  I may player-hate on certain celebrities.  So this blog will not be “fair” in the sense that I will probably not give the other team much time/space.  If you really think “Jersey Shore” is all that, crocheting is the bee’s knees,  or insist that store brand toaster pastries are just as good as Pop-Tarts, go read somebody else’s fucking blog.

3.   Consistent:  Again, my life.  My life is weird, wonderful, varied, and complicated.  One day it might all be on the plight of women in the Congo and the next day nothing but knitting booties.  This is how I roll in life, this is how my blog is going to work.

That all being said, let’s dig right into it!